ILO/AIDS, in partnership with the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), has created an International HIV/AIDS Workplace Education Programme known as Strategic HIV/AIDS Responses in Enterprises (SHARE). With the benefit of direct funding from the USDOL, and with the financial support of the US President’s Emergency Funds for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Guyana, India, Lesotho, and Swaziland, the SHARE programme had reached more than 700 enterprises in 24 countries, for the benefit an estimated million workers plus their family members.
The programme ultimate goal is to contribute to the prevention of HIV/AIDS in the world of work, the enhancement of workplace protection and the reduction of its adverse consequences on social, labour, and economic development.
The project aims at:
- Reducing HIV/AIDS risk behaviours among targeted workers; and
- Reducing level of employment-related discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS.
The strategy builds on the comparative advantage of the ILO's networks, experiences and materials, including the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work with its Implementing the ILO code of practice on HIV/AIDS and the world of work. An education and training manual as well as the HIV/AIDS Behaviour Change Communication – A toolkit for the workplace .
The strategy has two complementary lines of action: working with target enterprises in selected sectors to launch HIV/AIDS workplace Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) programmes, and focusing on policies and mechanisms which reduce discrimination at the workplace and national levels.
The programme works with the ILO's tripartite constituents to build their capacity develop effective HIV/AIDS Workplace policies and programmes. The aim is to ensure that the world of work component of the national strategy is adequately developed and appropriately placed within the national framework of action.
Behaviour change programmes are an essential and central element in enterprise-level initiatives within SHARE. The programme uses a participatory approach that encourages people to understand their attitudes to HIV, assess their own risks, and motivate them to change behaviour. The programme uses targeted messages and approaches and is reinforced by a network of peer educators.
To help the process along the ILO has developed a toolkit in collaboration with Family Health International (FHI) that explains step by step how to implement a behaviour change programme according to different workplace situations.
This methodology leads to the development of customized and gender-sensitive messages targeted at workers with similar types of jobs, levels of income, habits, values and education levels.
SHARE interventions aim to broaden workplace access to treatment by encouraging confidential voluntary counselling and testing and by referring workers and their families to community services. Workplaces also offer a support structure to favour adherence to treatment.
A National Project Coordinator (NPC) manages the project in the country. A tripartite Project Advisory Board (PAB) steers the project to ensure harmony with national policy and strategy as well as integration of activities into ongoing programmes. The PAB brings the tripartite constituents together with other key stakeholders including governmental agencies, UNAIDS, United Nations Theme Groups on HIV/AIDS, the United State of America Embassy, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations and networks of people living with HIV/AIDS.
A solid monitoring and evaluation system
A key component of the project is a built-in monitoring programme to assess progress, identify impact as well as strengths and weaknesses for any re-planning needed. A Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) with country-specific indictors is developed to assess project impact. The monitoring system rests on three pillars:
- Workers' survey to measure impact of the project on knowledge, attitudes and practices of target workers;
- Workplace monitoring to assess the impact of the project on their policies and programmes;
- Tripartite/project monitoring to provide an overview of the project contribution to the activities of the tripartite constituents and to the national framework.
In addition to the numerous evaluations of the country project undertaken, the SHARE commissioned two external evaluators to conduct a Cross-country evaluation of the ILO/USDOL HIV/AIDS Workplace Education Program in 2008.
A long-lasting partnership with USDOL and PEPFAR
The ILO has signed four cooperative agreements with the United States of America Department of Labor (USDOL) for the implementation of an International HIV/AIDS Workplace Education Programme. These agreements were preceded by the project in India which was the first of its kind to be launched in 2001 by the ILO with USDOL funding.
A first agreement was signed with USDOL in September 2002 covering the period 2002 - 2007.
Countries covered included Belize, Benin, Cambodia, Ghana, Guyana and Togo.
The second agreement was signed with USDOL in September 2003 and covering the period 2003 - 2008.
Countries covered included Botswana, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Nepal, Russian Federation, South Africa, Swaziland and the English-speaking Caribbean countries (with full-fledged projects in Barbados and Jamaica).
The third agreement was signed in September 2004 and covering the period 2004-2009.
Countries covered included Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Indonesia, Malawi, Sri Lanka and Trinidad & Tobago.
The fourth agreement covers the period 2005-2010.
The funding is used to strengthen actions in the target countries for the development and implementation of HIV/AIDS policies and programmes in the world of work. To document good practices and lessons learned, to assess impact of project intervention, for dissemination and cross-fertilization activities.
Numbers of project countries are benefiting from the financial assistance of the US President Emergency Funds for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for the consolidation or continuation of their activities: Botswana (since 2007), Burkina Faso (2008-2009), Guyana (since 2006), India (since 2006), Lesotho (2007-2009), Swaziland (since 2007).